Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has waded into the debate about whether Mats Hummels should be recalled by Germany, insisting the in-form centre-back should be included for their upcoming internationals.
In the wake of a disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia, when the defending champions failed to get out of their group, Joachim Loew booted Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller out of the Germany set up in March.
Hummels left Bayern Munich in June to resurrect his career at former club Dortmund, with whom he won the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga titles, bringing much-needed stability and experience to their defence.
He underlined his impressive form by helping Dortmund to a 4-0 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday in the Bundesliga, then a Champions League goalless draw at home to Barcelona on Tuesday.
“After his last two games, it would be deserved — without discussion,” said Favre on Friday.
“It’s not up for us to decide, but the way Mats is playing now, it’s clear to me.”
Dortmund are at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday and the 30-year-old Hummels is expected to again lead the back four having played every minute of Borussia’s last six games.
Germany’s defence was torn open by the Netherlands in last month’s 4-2 home defeat in a Euro 2020 qualifier and Bayern great Lothar Matthaeus also believes Hummels’ experience is an asset Loew can ill-afford to ignore.
“When he plays like that, he’s one of the best central defenders in Germany,” said Sky pundit Matthaeus, Germany’s captain when they won the World Cup in 1990, after the draw with Barcelona.
If it had been up to the 58-year-old, Hummels “wouldn’t have been left out” of the Germany squad “at all”.
Germany host Argentina in a friendly in Dortmund on October 9 before qualifiers against Estonia, Belarus and Northern Ireland later this autumn with the Germans chasing top spot in their group.
Hummels is not waiting for a call from Loew, telling magazine Sport Bild this week: “I try to think about it as little as possible. If it comes, it comes.
“I was always proud to play for Germany and nothing has changed.”
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc agrees with Favre and Matthaeus.
“When we signed Hummels, I already said he is the best German central defender, that was before the season had even started,” said Zorc.
“I say it now and I think I’ll say it again in 2020.
“But at the end of the day, it’s up to the national coach to decide. The ball is in his court, not ours.”